The Philippines inked at least 10 business deals during President Rodrigo Duterte's trip to Russia, Malacañang said Saturday.
In a statement, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the 10 business agreements signed with Russian firms were estimated to be worth $12.57 million.
Among the business agreements signed was an "intention to jointly explore the prospects of cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants," Panelo said.
The Russian State Nuclear Energy Corp. (Rosatom) earlier told GMA News Online that the Philippines only nuclear power plant - the decades-old Bataan Nuclear Power Plant - could be revived despite it never having operated.
Rosatom is also offering to put up floating nuclear power plants in the Philippines as the country explores the possibility of nuclear power generation.
Apart from the possible joint cooperation in building nuclear power facilities in the country, Panelo said the business agreements inked in Russia include "cooperation of information exchange and collaboration on business development to exchange of information on investment environment and opportunities... supplying tuna and sardine products and coconut products to the Russian market, as well as distribution, promotion and sale of Russian-made watches, vehicles, and IPP-NLS (medical) technologies in the Philippines."
The 10 business deals included a memorandum of agreement, five memoranda of understanding, two memoranda of intent, and two distributorship agreements.
"During the forum, President Duterte mentioned that Russia is a priority and investment market for the Philippines and acknowledged that the presence of Russian business groups during the event is a strong vote of confidence in the Philippines," Panelo said.
"President Rodrigo Roa Duterte had been received warmly by Russia’s top business leaders and industry captains," the Palace official said.
Duterte also thanked Russia’s national leadership for "revitalizing the two countries’ bilateral relations, which are now bearing fruit."
"President Duterte cited two Philippine fishery establishments which gained accreditation to export to Russia and other Eurasian markets and which created livelihood opportunities for Filipinos," Panelo said.
"The Chief Executive also invited Russian businessmen to invest in the Philippines and offered them fiscal and non-fiscal incentives," he said.
One sector that Duterte cited as an important part of the administration's Build, Build, Build Infrastructure Program was the transport and railway construction sector, in which Russia was highly expert in, according to Panelo. — John Ted Cordero/DVM, GMA News